Monday, November 2, 2015

Mission Newsletter

Take Care of Your Stewardship
Ukraine Kyiv Mission
2 November 2015
Thou shalt stand in the place of thy stewardship.” (D&C 42:53)
Dear Elders and Sisters
We love and appreciate all of you! You are doing better than you think (I may include this every week). We have been so impressed with those of you with whom we have spoken in Russian. We are so lucky to have so many native Russian-speaking missionaries. I wish we had more so that each of you could serve with one! If you don’t have a native speaking companion then be sure to identify a native informant in your area with whom you can work. Learning the language is long and hard so do your best. There is a price that must be paid for the language and there is no way around it; the quicker you pay that price the more quickly you will reach fluency. SYL is key. Just humble yourselves and SYL all of the time.
While serving a mission, I really grew up and changed. The Spirit changed me in many ways to be more humble, more careful, and more thoughtful of others. I was wiser in my decisions, which is why I looked for a pair of safety glasses when I went out to edge the 1.5 acre lot where my parents live. In High School, I wouldn’t have thought twice about weed eating for 3 hours without eye protection, but now I wasn’t going to go out even if it meant I went out with a pair of safety glasses taped to my head because they were broken and the only ones I could find. The glasses worked great, for the most part, but as the day grew hotter and I began to sweat, the tape at the bottom of the glasses proved to be water tight, and slowly the glasses began to fill with sweat. Almost done, I decided just to push through and finish even though my eyes stung from the salty sweat. I could just see well enough, if I squinted my eyes and raised the bottom of my eyelids just beyond the rising pool in my safety glasses. As I finished, and just before I could get the safety glasses off, I noticed two men in suits approaching me. One of the men was my grandfather, President Packer, and the other was Elder Hancock the grandfather of Elder Hancock who recently returned home from our mission. I quickly tried to unwind the black electrical tape from my head before they got close enough to see. This proved to be easier said than done. When they reached me, the glasses were coming off and the sweat ran down my face cleaning off the weed clippings that were a testament to my day’s labor.

To my great joy, my grandfather was proud and not embarrassed of his hard-working returned missionary grandson and introduced me to Elder Hancock. Elder Handcock had just been called as a General Authority and was assigned to serve in the Europe East Area Presidency. Grandpa was training Elder Hancock at a Stake Conference held in my home town of American Fork, Utah. Grandpa invited me to join them for a leadership meeting later that afternoon. I quickly showered and got ready to go. I took my younger brother with me who had just turned in his mission papers. I wore my suit, my brother wore his jeans and flip flops. During my grandfather’s talk he made a comment about us being an example of the before and after of a mission. He taught the importance of missions and how they can change the young people of the church (My mission changed me because I gave everything I was to the Lord and let Him make me someone new, someone better.).
After the speakers, the meeting opened for asking and answering questions. For 20 minutes there were questions about the work in China, Africa, and I even answered a few questions about the work in Russia. Then a hand went up in the back, and a humble Elders Quorum President asked a question that changed the meeting. He asked, “I have three brothers in my quorum who struggle with feelings that they are enough, with all of the things they have going on in their lives. What advice do you have on how I can help them?” Before he answered this question, President Packer stopped the meeting and invited Elder Hancock to come up to the pulpit. He told those attending that he wasn’t only teaching the Stake but that he was also training Elder Hancock to be a General Authority. He put his arm around Elder Hancock and said, “That was the only good question we have had throughout this entire meeting. Why? Because it deals specifically with this man’s stewardship and how he can help those, he is assigned to serve. Who cares what is happening in China, Africa, of Russia.” He then told the attendees that he would only be accepting good questions for the rest of the meeting.
You have a stewardship. It is your area. You don’t need to worry what is going on in other areas of the mission or what is going on with other missionaries. You give your time, talents and energy to your assigned stewardship. Trust in the Lord because it is his area too. You can and should stay in touch with those recent converts in areas you have served. Follow the guidelines in the Missionary Handbook.
Another important stewardship while on a mission is your own spiritual, emotional, and physical health. Make sure you are taking care of this stewardship so that when you go home you will have experienced the miracle of a mission. May the Lord bless you as you labor in his Vineyard!
President Packer

No comments:

Post a Comment